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Dancing with the Devil by Keri Arthur
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Dancing with the Devil (2001)

by Keri Arthur

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
While the concept of this book was actually to my liking, a psychically gifted PI being caught in the sights of an evil vampire and a vampire hero comes to her rescue, I found the execution was a bit off. Finding the positives to point out has been difficult for me because every instance had both pro and con to it.

What Worked: Our heroine, Nikki, is both determined and strong....yet flawed. This will allow for future character development....and believe me, this character needs some because although I've listed Nikki as a plus she was also the biggest disappointment I had in this book. (more on that later)

In addition to the character of Nikki, her boss, Jake, although completely human with no special abilities is actually the glue that holds Nikki together and essentially the book itself. He lent a calmness and logic to the story that it truly needed it as Nikki seemed to go off half cocked most of the time.

What Didn't Work: The World Building. The addition of the Damask Circle was woefully under-explained. If not for Michael mentioning a few times that he worked for them I'd never know it existed. This was just one example of the lack of world building. Arthur has also failed to provide rules to her world. Nikki has telekinesis but apparently also has psychometry and precognitive skills too. I've never read a book where one person had so many different types of psychic skills. Usually a person is only gifted with one. In addition it is mentioned so many times that while battling vampires or the zombies Nikki had depleted her psychic gift yet a moment later she is pooling more energy to attack or defend again. It is not explained where her reserve is coming from two, sometimes three times after it's mentioned she's essentially empty of her gifts. In addition to this it appears Arthur's vampires have even greater psychic gifts than Nikki as they have telepathy and can control anyone with their minds in addition to having telekinesis. They also can raise the dead and become invisible by blending into the shadows. And can someone tell me how a vampire 1/3 of the age of our hero could be continually best our hero? In every vampire romance I've read, the older the vampire the greater the strength and the speed and the everything....not so much in Dancing With the Devil.

The romance between Nikki and Michael didn't work either as it rang false by basing itself on a psychic connection that readers had to believe in without any actual romantic gestures from either character. When all was said and done I was still wondering how the characters fancied themselves in love.

The biggest flaw of the book would have to be Nikki herself. She came across angry with the world and self sacrificing to the point I really was rooting for the bad guy to kill her and get it over with. I have a hard time liking a character who completely ignores all of her own instincts, runs headlong into danger every other page knowing it was probably not a good idea and practically gift wraps herself for the bad guy to kidnap her (after already having been kidnapped by him once.) She was BTSTL (Beyond Too Stupid to Live!)

In a Nutshell: Despite the numerous negatives I did give this book 3 stars because it has potential and room to grow. Jake was a very interesting secondary character and I'm interested in seeing what the Damask Circle is all about. ( )
  ChristinaT. | Dec 3, 2016 |
Solid start to the series. Review to come. ( )
  Chrystina.Williams | Dec 4, 2015 |
Yet another urban fantasy series from Keri Arthur. I'm reading the reissue of this series since it is now being put out by her current mainstream publisher. Nikki is a private investigator tracking a teen girl for her rich father. Michael is a vampire tracking another vampire that happens to be seducing Nikki's target. Much butting of heads ensues and sparks fly. The two of them are a bit angsty and failure to communicate doesn't help them either. A decent read but it has the same relationship feel as many of her other books.

Digital copy provided by Netgalley
( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
Originally posted at Novel Reveries

“I have never run from anything in my life, and I don’t intend to start now.” (loc. 234)

Dancing with the Devil is an urban paranormal the intertwines Vampires, Zombies, and Psychics. Nikki, a private investigator finds herself in the company of Michael, her protector and vampire; together they must find a way to defeat the nefarious Jasper and stop his massive killing spree. With their psychic connection growing stronger, will Nikki and Michael be able to work together efficiently, or will their personal issues and lack of trust of each other get in the way?

“‘Many people believe in psychic powers just as little as they believe in vampires. But does their lack of belief make those powers any less real?’” (loc. 1042)

I originally found the idea of combining something as abnormal as psychics, with the paranormality of vampires and zombies, fun. The beginning is great in really placing you right in the action, while getting some background info, so the book was fairly easy to follow. I liked Nikki’s character (especially with her being a private investigator) and the issues she had to work through with her past, but after a while, it got kind of irritating how she just kept bringing her control issue with Tommy up and using it as a crutch. The ending gives hope to her finally getting over this. Michael, although brusque and somewhat used to getting his way, is softened by Nikki and becomes used to her tenacity in finishing her case. Both of these characters are great, I think, in helping each other, not just in their quest, but in healing character flaws as well.

“Revenge. Everything was based on revenge, and it could end up killing them all.” (loc. 3037)

The overall mystery/case was okay, if not predictable. I would have liked the aspect of Jasper’s crimes to lead to some greater scale of upheaval, maybe to span throughout other books. This could have been something to use as a focus for the book series. I liked the author’s writing style, and her use of descriptive action scenes, which really made the book great. In all, I think this is a good start to the series, with an interesting concept of psychic vampires, and I’m sure the next books in the Nikki & Michael series are promising as well. I would recommend this to those who love a cozy, yet action packed urban paranormal read.
-----------------

First Line: “Someone fallowed her.” (loc. 142)
Last Line: “Leaving his heart behind.” (loc. 4192)

*Quotes:

“It was nights like this, when she was caught between common sense and past promises, that she really hated being psychic.” (loc. 171)
“Her common sense told her not to follow, and her psychic sense told her danger lurked inside.” (loc. 181)

“Last night, her dreams had sent her a warning. Jasper was weaving a trap around them all, with Michael’s death the grand finale.” (loc. 1693)

--------
Galley provided by NetGalley via Random House: Bantam Dell

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes. ( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
Originally posted at Novel Reveries

“I have never run from anything in my life, and I don’t intend to start now.” (loc. 234)

Dancing with the Devil is an urban paranormal the intertwines Vampires, Zombies, and Psychics. Nikki, a private investigator finds herself in the company of Michael, her protector and vampire; together they must find a way to defeat the nefarious Jasper and stop his massive killing spree. With their psychic connection growing stronger, will Nikki and Michael be able to work together efficiently, or will their personal issues and lack of trust of each other get in the way?

“‘Many people believe in psychic powers just as little as they believe in vampires. But does their lack of belief make those powers any less real?’” (loc. 1042)

I originally found the idea of combining something as abnormal as psychics, with the paranormality of vampires and zombies, fun. The beginning is great in really placing you right in the action, while getting some background info, so the book was fairly easy to follow. I liked Nikki’s character (especially with her being a private investigator) and the issues she had to work through with her past, but after a while, it got kind of irritating how she just kept bringing her control issue with Tommy up and using it as a crutch. The ending gives hope to her finally getting over this. Michael, although brusque and somewhat used to getting his way, is softened by Nikki and becomes used to her tenacity in finishing her case. Both of these characters are great, I think, in helping each other, not just in their quest, but in healing character flaws as well.

“Revenge. Everything was based on revenge, and it could end up killing them all.” (loc. 3037)

The overall mystery/case was okay, if not predictable. I would have liked the aspect of Jasper’s crimes to lead to some greater scale of upheaval, maybe to span throughout other books. This could have been something to use as a focus for the book series. I liked the author’s writing style, and her use of descriptive action scenes, which really made the book great. In all, I think this is a good start to the series, with an interesting concept of psychic vampires, and I’m sure the next books in the Nikki & Michael series are promising as well. I would recommend this to those who love a cozy, yet action packed urban paranormal read.
-----------------

First Line: “Someone fallowed her.” (loc. 142)
Last Line: “Leaving his heart behind.” (loc. 4192)

*Quotes:

“It was nights like this, when she was caught between common sense and past promises, that she really hated being psychic.” (loc. 171)
“Her common sense told her not to follow, and her psychic sense told her danger lurked inside.” (loc. 181)

“Last night, her dreams had sent her a warning. Jasper was weaving a trap around them all, with Michael’s death the grand finale.” (loc. 1693)

--------
Galley provided by NetGalley via Random House: Bantam Dell

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes. ( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
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Book description
Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there's nothing left to surprise her. All that changes the night she follows teenager Monica Trevgard into the shadows-and becomes a pawn caught in a war between two very different men. One fills her mind with his madness, the other pushes his way into her life-and her heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be, but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in a man who could easily destroy her.

Michael Kelly has come to Lyndhurst determined to end the war between himself and another brother of the night. For 300 years he has existed in life's shadows, gradually learning to control the life from death cravings of a vampire. Nikki not only breaches his formidable barriers with her psychic abilities, but makes Michael believe he may finally have found a woman strong enough to walk by his side and ease the loneliness in his heart. But will his love be enough to protect her from a madman hell-bent on revenge? Or will it drive her into his enemy's deadly trap?

Only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both. But the secrets they keep from each other might prove to be the greatest threat of all.
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"Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there's nothing left to surprise her. But all that changes the night she follows a rich man's daughter into the shadows and finds herself caught in a war between two very different men. One is a madman, intent on destruction. The other has his own heart of darkness. For three hundred years, Michael Kelly has existed in life's shadows, gradually learning to control his vampire cravings. He is convinced that no one can breach his formidable barriers--until he meets Nikki. With her powerful psychic abilities, Nikki swiftly invades both his mind and his heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be--but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in this man who could easily destroy her. For only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both."-- P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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